Stuck at home? Let’s make the most of it!

We hope you have enjoyed Make it! DIY these past few months. Our educators have done a fantastic job providing free maker projects and this week we’re featuring some of our favorites. From bridge building to balloon science, we’ve loved every activity that has kept making going since we’ve been stuck at home.

Make it! Summer Camp has come to a close, but be sure to keep an eye out for Make it! After-School which will be launching in just a few weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to be amongst the first to find out about this new interactive programming from our Maker Educators.

But for now… Ready. Set. Make it!

Our Favorites

1. Bridge Building

Much of the world’s transportation relies on bridges. How can a strong bridge be made out of simple materials? Test your civil engineering skills by building and testing different paper bridge designs.

Suggested Materials
– Paper, pennies or other coins for weights, two thick heavy books, ruler, tape.

Tips and thoughts:
– How much weight can one piece of paper hold? What about two? Three?
– How do different shapes affect how much weight a bridge can hold?
– How do different materials affect your bridge?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written & Picture Guides

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. Bird Feeders

Design and build your own backyard bird feeder using simple household materials. Use anything from a toilet paper tube to a plastic bottle — the possibilities are endless. A good bird feeder needs three components: a place for the birds to land, a place to hold the seed, and a way for the birds to reach the seed. They should also be hangable from a nearby tree or bush.

Suggested Materials
– Milk Carton, plastic bottle, paper tube or egg carton
– Peanut butter or honey
– Beed feed
– String
– Scissors
– Optional: pencils, dowels or a long wooden spoon

Tips and thoughts:
– How will the birds reach the bird seed? Make sure your holes are big enough for birds to reach, but small enough that the bird seed won’t fall through?
– How many different ways could you make a bird feeder? Which design is best? why?
– How can you improve on, change or add to your bird feeder design?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

3. Household Mini Golf

Turn your house into a mini golf course! Create your own ramps, obstacles and holes out of cardboard and other recycled materials. Or, create a mini-table top version that you can play with a marble or other small ball. Use your imagination and making skills to build ramps or loops for the ball to go through, or build pinwheel and other obstacles to maximize the challenge.

Suggested Materials
– Any ball, preferably one either the size of a tennis ball or smaller, household items to use as obstacles and holes. Something to use as a golf club, or try making your own out of newspaper!

Tips and thoughts:
– What household items can you use as holes?
– Don’t have a golf club? Challenge yourself to build one out of household items? Check out how this kid made a club out of newspaper and cardboard.
– Experiment with ways to build walls for the ball to bounce off of or obstacles for the ball to overcome.

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

4. Car Engineering

A basic toy car uses one of the most important simple machines: a wheel and axle. Use materials found around the house and your imagination to design and build your own toy car with spinning wheels. Then add a propelling device, such as a balloon or sail, and see how far it will go!

Suggested Materials
– Cardboard, plastic bottle or other container to use as body of the car, pencils, wooden skewers or wire to use as axles, bottle caps, CDs or something round to use for wheels, straws, liquid glue, tape, a lot of imagination!

Tips and thoughts:
– How will you make the wheels of your car spin?
– What can you use to power your car? How far will it go?
– What are the challenges and results of different car designs?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

5. Bubble Science

There are two steps to achieving the perfect bubble. First, you’ll need to mix the right soap solution. Test out different ratios and types of soap from around the house. Second, create your own bubble wand. Compare different shapes of wands with the bubbles they create for an afternoon of endless entertainment.

Suggested Materials
– Two sticks
– String
– Liquid Soap and Water
– A bucket
– Scissors
– Optional: Straws,Wire, pipe cleaners, detergent, cornstarch, glycerin

Tips and thoughts:
– What makes a good bubble?
– Do different mixtures of soap and water work better? Why?
– What kind of bubbles does each different wand make?
– How can you change or improve your bubble mixture and wand design?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

We'd love to see what you make!

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